Wolves have confirmed the departure of their captain Rúben Neves to the Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a club record £47m.
The Portugal midfielder scored 30 goals in 253 appearances during six seasons at Molineux. Neves wiped away tears in a video posted on the Premier League club’s Twitter account, saying he had made “thousands of memories which will last for ever”.
The Wolves sporting director, Matt Hobbs, told his club’s website: “Rúben is the embodiment of everything you look for when trying to bring players into a football club: a leader, a humble man and an extremely talented footballer who took Wolves to a different level.
“He was part of a great era for this club and will go down as one of our best-ever players. We are grateful for everything he has done for Wolves and wish him and his family the very best for the future.”
Neves, who had one year remaining on his contract, was part of the Wolves team that won the Championship in 2018 following his move from Porto. The 26-year-old then helped Wanderers to two consecutive seventh-placed finishes in the top flight, in addition to an FA Cup semi-final in 2019 and the Europa League quarter-finals in 2020.
He becomes the latest high-profile player to move to Saudi Arabia. Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kanté have already completed free transfers to Al-Ittihad this month, while Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr in December.
Shortly before announcing the deal, Wolves posted a video on social media in which Neves struggled to contain his emotions. “Wolves, six seasons, 253 games, champions of the Championship, five years of Premier League football, an FA Cup semi-final, our European adventure and some huge wins,” he said. “And thousands of memories which will last forever, what an unbelievable journey.”
Meanwhile Burnley have completed the signing of the Republic of Ireland defender Dara O’Shea from West Brom. The 24-year-old has agreed a four-year deal at Turf Moor following their promotion to the Premier League.
“It feels great to be here and I really can’t wait to get going,” O’Shea told Burnley’s website. “Burnley were the outstanding team [in the Championship] last season and they achieved exceptional things.”